8-Year Veteran QB Called ‘Viable’ Russell Wilson Replacement for Broncos

Russell Wilson

Getty Who will replace Russell Wilson at QB for the Broncos in 2024?

With the Denver Broncos ending the Russell Wilson experiment, who will replace him in the Mile High City?

Rumors will continue circulating until the official start of NFL free agency on March 13. Andrew Mason of Denver Sports already knows of a “viable” option to replace Wilson in 2024.

In his March 5 article, Mason named pending free agent Jacoby Brissett as a possible Wilson replacement for head coach Sean Payton.

“If the job of Jacoby Brissett is to start, he can deliver league-average work. That would likely mean he plays above that norm under Sean Payton, given his history of extracting a bit more from quarterbacks than they accomplished prior to working together,” wrote Mason.

Mason cited Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston and Wilson as quarterbacks who improved on Payton’s watch. Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions with Payton after posting a 12-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 13 games under former HC Nathaniel Hackett.

The Broncos writer envisions Brissett as an “understudy, a bridge or both” in Denver.

“That makes him an intriguing candidate as the Broncos make their pre-draft plans and deliberations,” Mason wrote.

Jacoby Brissett Has Been a Solid Contributor at Every Stop in His NFL Career

The New England Patriots selected Brissett in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. He started two games in his rookie campaign as Tom Brady served a four-game suspension for the “Deflategate” scandal.

Brissett went 1-1 in those two starts before being inactive the rest of the season as the Patriots won the 2017 Super Bowl.

New England traded Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts in September 2017 as a fill-in for Andrew Luck. Indianapolis went 4-12 as Brissett threw for 3,098 yards with 13 touchdown passes and 4 rushing scores in 15 starts.

He was the Colts’ backup in 2018 and became the full-time starter in 2019 following Luck’s abrupt retirement. He was again relegated to backup duty in 2020 after the Colts signed Philip Rivers.

Brissett then spent a year with the Miami Dolphins in 2021 before signing a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns in 2022. With Deshaun Watson serving an 11-game suspension, Brissett started those 11 games for Cleveland.

The Browns went 4-7 in his 11 starts, and he joined the Washington Commanders in the 2023 offseason. Brissett relieved second-year starter Sam Howell in back-to-back games.

In limited action, Brissett completed 78.3% of his passes for 3 touchdown passes, 0 interceptions and a 146.8 passer rating.

Broncos Encouraged to Avoid Brissett in Free Agency

While Mason insisted that Brissett could be an intriguing fit in Denver, not everyone shares his thinking.

Sayre Bedinger of Predominantly Orange listed Brissett as one of five quarterbacks the Broncos must avoid after Wilson’s release.

“There’s simply no way the Denver Broncos could justify moving on from Russell Wilson, taking the massive $85 million dead cap hit, and moving forward with someone like Jacoby Brissett, who has been mostly a career backup and emergency starting quarterback,” Bedinger wrote in his March 5 article.

Brissett was included alongside Winston, Gardner Minshew, Mason Rudolph and Ryan Tannehill.

Whatever the Broncos do at QB this offseason will likely be a tough pill to swallow for fans. The team has struggled to find quality play under center since Peyton Manning retired in March 2016.

Bedinger understands Brissett can start in a pinch but does not anticipate “the Broncos could go this route.”

“Brissett will have other opportunities around the league that would come with a lot less pressure than this, and in situations where he’s more familiar with the coaching around him as well,” Bedinger wrote.

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